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habsburgs

Maria Antonia and the Diamond Necklace

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Marie Antoinette is usually considered quintessentially French, indelibly tied to the French Revolution, and famous for her “let them eat cake!” proclamation, which she most likely never said. She was of course the last Queen of France before the revolution, so it’s no surprise that most people consider her to be French. But she was…

The Life and Times of Luzi-Wuzi

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There are many scandals, secrets, and stories about the Habsburgs – some hearsay, some confirmed. One member of the Habsburg family about whom much was speculated but not so much was known is Archduke Ludwig Viktor, youngest brother of Kaiser Franz Josef. Known to his family and friends as Luzi-Wuzi, he was known for his…

The story of the “Widmertor”

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Walking around the city, perhaps we miss little details that have a lot of history. One of these details is located in the corridor that connects the Burgplatz with the Heldenplatz. In the past we have told you some stories about the walls that used to surround Vienna and over the centuries these defensive walls…

The story of Friedrich III’s tomb

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If you have visited the Stephansdom, chances are that you have seen Emperor Friedrich III (Frederick III). Well, not him personally, but his tomb. Friedrich III was Holy Roman Emperor from 1452 until he died in 1493 making him one of the longest serving emperors. And he is also famous because of the letters “A.E.I.O.U.”,…

The story of the “Pferdebändiger”

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Perhaps you know that Emperor Franz Josef suffered an assassination attempt. That was in 1853 and the men who saved his life were rewarded. Maximilian Karl Lamoral O’Donnell was made a count of the Habsburg Empire and the butcher Joseph Ettenreich became Joseph von Ettenreich. And this was not all, the emperor’s brother Ferdinand Maximilian…

The Story of the Imperial Riding School Renaissance Vienna Hotel

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As you can imagine, after the fall of the Habsburg empire, many buildings were left without an empire to serve. Most of them, however, found a new life, such as the former Imperial and Royal Stables that now host the MuseumsQuartier. There are other perhaps less-known buildings that have also found a new life. This…

The Story of the ceiling painting in the National Library

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If you have visited the former imperial royal library at the Josefplatz, it is likely that you were impressed by its interior and in particular by the paintings there. The large painting located in the dome of the Prunksaal is full of details and colors. Its artist was the Viennese painter Daniel Gran who worked…

The Story of the Pestsäule

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Most people have seen the Pestsäule (The Plague Column) on the Graben. This column dates back to the 17th century and was built during the reign of Kaiser Leopold I with the purpose of asking for mercy so that the pest would end as quick as possible. The first mercy column was made of wood…

AEIOU isnt just a string of vowels

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Looking through historical records, or a close inspection of certain buildings in Austria such as the Burg Wiener Neustadt, may cause you to repeatedly come across a particular set of vowels: A.E.I.O.U. No, this is not some sort of spelling lesson meant to teach the vowels through repetition, though one could be forgiven for arriving…

The Wiener Schnitzel, by way of Constantinople, Paris, and Milan

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Where does the Wiener Schnitzel come from? The name of course ties it to Vienna, but many contend that it actually comes from Milan. Breaded, deep-fried veal might not seem like a highly original concept, but the origins of the schnitzel can send passions soaring, and historians scrambling. So where does the thing actually come…